Fresh peaches are a summer highlight! Not sure what to do with extra peaches? Preserving peaches is easy and delicious by canning or freezing peaches in simple syrup.
Hot July days are made sweeter with fresh ripe peaches. While Parker county peaches are famous, and home to an annual peach festival, I’m not picky. I’ll take fresh peaches wherever I can get them. But picking peaches fresh from the tree was a new highlight for me this year, and one I hope to repeat.
My in-laws are the owners of the peach tree and this year were unavailable to pick any of the peaches. When I knew they were ripe I texted my sister and asked if she wanted to pick fresh peaches with me. Her response was a quick and enthusiastic YES. We set the date and looked forward to our peach picking adventures.
In all honesty, having never picked peaches before, we were a little unsure of how to proceed. Obviously pick peach from tree was our methodology, but there were a few times where we questioned if a particular peach was ripe enough. In the end we probably over picked. Thankfully a paper bag and a couple days were all we needed to ensure that all of our peaches were perfectly ripe.
After we had filled our basket to the brim with peaches, and still more on the tree, we realized there was no way we could eat them all. Thankfully, preserving peaches is easy! Canning and freezing are both great ways to preserve fresh peaches and you begin either method the same way, by peeling and slicing your peaches.
I chose to blanch my peaches to loosen the skin and make peeling easier. This optional step involved dropping each peach into boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds. Once they were blanched I peeled, pitted, and sliced all of my peaches. Once your peaches are ready you need to make your syrup and sterilize your mason jars.
- 3 cups sugar
- 5 cups water
Prepare your syrup by bringing 3 cups of granulated sugar and 5 cups of water to a boil. Heat the ingredients in a medium saucepan until the sugar is fully dissolved. While the syrup is bubbling away sterilize your jars and fill them with the sliced peaches. When your syrup is ready, pour the hot syrup over the peach filled jars, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top of the jar. Using a clean damp cloth, wipe the top rim of the jar to remove an residue.
Canning or Freezing
Once you’re jars are filled you can choose to can, freeze, or simply store your peach jars. To can them, process the hot jars in a water bath or pressure cooker according to jar manufacturer instructions. To freeze your jars, allow the jars to cool and then place them in the freezer. When you are ready to use the peaches, them them in their container in the refrigerator. If you are going to use the peaches in the next day or two, pop them into the refrigerator.
I’ve got a peach cobbler planned for some of these peaches. Recipe coming soon!